Einstein – two intense days of trying to do his portrait

Albert_Einstein_Head

Around the world went the cries of anguish when participants in th 30 in 30 days Sgraffito Challenge read the task for these last two days, followed by waves of despair and destruction.  We were to work with this photo of AE and, starting with the image upside down, sketch in the light and dark areas and gradually work on the piece whichever way we wanted and with any tools.

Einstein 1

sifiting powder upside-down

einstein 2

beginning to add details

einstein 3

some weird Colonel turned up!

einstein back in jar

back in the jar

I decided I needed to understand the eyes, so did a quick sketch of these.

einstein eyes

I sifted powder on.  Got completely muddled about which the chin line was.  Fiddled.  Tipped the powder back into the jar and started again.

einstein v2 with photo

einstein v2 1

starting again

einstein v2 2

einstein v2 3 trying to tidy his chin- realising everything is the wrong place

Tipped the powder back in the jar and started again.

einstein V3 5 rotated

Version 3 – where should the chin be !!!

einstein finished?

keeping this one.

Kept this final piece.  I realised that, like most of the others posting progress pieces, I was relentlessly centering AE’s eyes in the image instead of giving him a partial profile.  Even with starting upside down, which should help us to see what is actually there and not what we think is there, I was sticking his features where I thought they should be not where they were.

So, a difficult challenge and a not entirely successful outcome.  However, when we compare the work we did on this piece with the way we handled the powder back on January 1st we can see how much our technique has improved.

I wanted to increase the tonal range (made the darker areas darker and the light areas lighter) but I felt as if I’d lose any sense of AE being amused in my image if I fiddled any more.  I’ll fire this one when the kiln is free and see what it looks like.

If you want to see other participants work you check out the links at the base of this blog.

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